Stuck at a desk for the day? Been in the car a bunch lately? We all know that crunchy- hunchy feeling of sitting for too long and not being able to get up.
Well, my first piece of advice is to pull over and walk around for 20 minutes. You legs, hips and sanity will thank you! But in between walks, here are a few yoga poses adapted for that sitting arrangement you’ve gotten yourself into!
A great shoulder and upper back stretch for when your desk has got you feeling all cramped up.
Simply cross your elbows one under the other and attempt to press the backs of your forearms together or even bring the palms of your hands together. Tuck your chin to your chest and raise your elbows up to encourage a deeper stretch.
If this is challenging or you have a history of shoulder injury then place your hands on your shoulders and pull.
If your chair does not have wheels you can reverse the haunched-over-the-desk feeling by stretching out your chest and frontal shoulders in a seated Fish Pose. Added bonus; taking deep breaths here will help soothe you if you’re feeling stagnant.
Scoot your hips to the edge of your chair and place your hands at the back of the seat. Plant your feet down so you are grounded and lift your heart up to the ceiling by pressing your shoulder blades back behind you. Now breathe!
Need to go deeper? From this shape lift your seat up and press your hip flexors into the air.
Help put those hips by using a little external rotation and get a low back stretch at the same time in this chair version of Pigeon Pose.
Simply cross your ankle over your thigh to create a figure 4 with your legs. Flex your lifted foot to protect your hip and ankle, and sit up tall or bow forward to stretch your back out more.
Half Lord of Fish
Lateral stretches or side bends, can feel great when you are stagnant at your desk, especially if you follow them with this little twist.
Bend your knee in to your chest and put your foot flat on your chair. Press the opposite hand into the outside of your thigh and turn towards your leg.
Straight Leg Lift
Hamstrings are finicky beings- they like to be stretched out when we move a lot but also when we sit a lot.
Take your foot in your hand with a bent knee and kick into your grip until you can straighten your leg a little or all the way.
Using a strap around your foot instead of your hands will mean you can keep a straight back as you do this which will feel better all round.
Just remember the best way to take care of your body when you have to sit for long periods is to stand up and walk around! So take breaks and maybe even get outside!